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Friday, December 16, 2011

Fear Not! - By: Moments With The Book

       Children are often told by their parents, "Don't be afraid." It is calming and reassuring for them to know that someone is looking out for their safety. In the same way, politicians and leaders seek to remove their peoples' fears. Many years ago, Franklin D. Roosevelt said to an American public burdened with economic concerns, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Later, he even joined with Winston Churchill in signing a document expressing their joint hope that in the future "all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear."
        In the years that have passed since this agreement was written, man has made advancements on many fronts, yet few would say this objective of freedom from fear has been realized. In fact, most would say that just the opposite is true—recent and current events are bringing new fears before us every day. Things that we have always considered to be safe activities, like going to school or work, traveling, reading the mail and going shopping, now warrant a second thought. It seems that each day's news reveals new confirmed and potential risks to our safety.
        Of course, this isn't to say that nothing is being done to eliminate fear. Increased security measures, worldwide manhunts, and heightened awareness will certainly make progress in limiting some of the threats. However, these efforts, even if successful, can only serve to quiet or delay our fears—especially our fear of death. That's because easing the fear of dying today does not deal with the fear of dying tomorrow, or next week, and so on. Even if it were possible to assure one's long-term safety, our underlying fear of death would still be there, because we cannot change the fact that death is appointed to us all.
        Sadly, many people will spend their entire lives dealing with various fears—and possibly even overcoming some of them—only to find that they hadn't dealt with what should have been their greatest concern. Jesus said, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Jesus knew that we often fear death, but He also knew that there is something far worse than death. Because we "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), our never-dying souls are in danger of facing God's eternal judgment. If anything causes us to fear, that should!
        But in the Bible we also read how Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, came to earth as a man and died on Calvary's cross, "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:14,15). Jesus has provided the way of victory over sin and death! He summed it up well when He said, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25). Even when our life on earth is over, those who trust Jesus Christ as their Saviour will not face eternal separation from God, but rather will live with Him, sharing His blessings, for eternity!
        Someone has said, "Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death." The Bible agrees with this by saying that once we have trusted Christ's atoning work on Calvary's cross as payment for our sins—thus entering into a personal relationship with Him—our salvation is secure and we can say with the apostle Paul, "God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). When we face life's troubles, Jesus will tell us the same thing He told His disciples when they were in a boat in the middle of a storm-tossed sea: "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid" (Matthew 14:27).
          "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in Him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love … there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear" (1 John 4:15-18).
By: Moments With The Book (mwtb.org)

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